So you want to import housewares from china??? Start writing in your pad the most common descriptions you may use, or brand names which are popular. Normally I would start with for example cookware, tupperware, plastic, utensils, pens, knifes,etc. You got to remember that the simpler the description the better. Forget those long words which are impossible to spell. If you cant spell them, the chinese supplier wont be able to either.
Visit the main websites of china products, which are alibaba.com, made-in-china.com , globalsources.com . Put in your descriptions and find suppliers. In alibaba.com for example if you type housewares, new categories will appear like kitchenware, tableware, cookware,etc.You will need to register an account which is free.
Housewares produced and ultimately imported from the north east of China( Ningbo, Shanghai, Zhejiang province,etc ) are normally of lower quality. If you are looking for cheap stuff buy from a supplier in the north or north east area. Don’t waste your time trying to negotiate with southern suppliers for a cheaper price than the north unless it is a specifi item.
An specific item is an item like cookware or cutlery which is produced mainly in the southern yangjiang and guangdong areas. The reason is that the raw materials are produced there hence the logistics issue as
well as the various government initiatives.
Housewares imported from the south of china ( hong kong, shenzhen, guangzhou, guangdong province, etc) are normally of higher quality. This does not mean that this is always the case, but due to the heavy
taiwanese investment as well as japansese management systems, the south is known mostly for better quality.
You will normally find that patented items or high value items are mostly sold by southern companies. It makes sense, since if the item is of high value, a small 1-2% difference in your buying does not affect that much the item.
Chinese are masters in deceit.
Be careful with the polishing, the weight and the mixture of the raw materials. In cookware and cutlery, is it mirror polishing??? Get a sample and try it out, scratch it, throw it, does the polish go???? Is it really 18/10 stainless steel or 18/01??? You wont appreciate the difference, get your tests done. Is the plastic used recycled or new??? Let me see the real CEE certificates.
Plan your imports with ample time. Don’t leave it till the last moment. If you have an item you want to produce, go to the fairs and find a supplier or get in touch with an intermediary, he will help you find a factory and make your mold.
If you don’t want to produce, know what market you are in. if you are in the low end, then contact the cheaper northern suppliers, get samples, test them, inspect them during production (thru someone like SGS, or Bureau Veritas), and build a relationship.
About the author:
The author is a China Business Expert, entrepreneur and self made businessman. He has been dealing with China for over 10 years now, both for his own import & wholesale business as well as for some of his customers where he acts as an intermediary and consultant in the supplyside purchasing cycle. You will find many more and free resources, articles, tips and suggestions other than why epand your business to china in his site, www.freechinaadvice.com.